The UCLA Football team dismantled the UNLV Rebels out in Las Vegas this weekend, which is great, but how did the individual units fare? Find out now!
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Josh Rosen had a rough start to the game. A combination of inaccurate passes and receiver drops had him at 15 of 26 in the first half and the offense running a bit sluggish.
Rosen also had his first interception which came on an all-around bad play. Still, he was able to through for 223 yards with 1 touchdown as he connected with 12 different receivers. Add in Jerry Neuheisel‘s awkward 2 INT performance and this QB game can be filed under “Needs improvement”.
Running Backs: A
Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Bolu Olorunfunmi (20) is tackled by UNLV Rebels line backer Ryan McAleenan (56) and defensive back Kenny Keys (44) during the fourth quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports
Not one or two but five RBs got in the game with Paul Perkins, Bolu Olorunfunmi and Nate Starks leading the charge as all of them averaged more than six yards per carry. Perkins led all RBs with 151 yards and 2 TDs.
It took a while (like last week) to get the game going, but once they did, it seemed the bruising rotation took a toll on the Rebels.
It was an off day for a lot of the receivers, though they put out a solid effort with what they had to deal with. Rosen was occasionally off on his targets but there were also several dropped balls. Jordan Payton had a team-high 70 yards as well as the only receiving touchdown.
Offensive Line: A
It might have taken a while for the offense to get going, but not much of the blame can be put on the O-line. The big guys up front did a great job of holding off the pesky Rebel front that often stacked the box with seven or eight players.
They even showed their resilience as they did a fantastic job of holding down the line with out their leader, Jake Brendel, who sat out the second half with a foot injury.
Defensive Line: A-
Sep 12, 2015; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UNLV Rebels running back Xzavier Campbell (35) runs the ball against the UCLA Bruins during the second quarter at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports
Any team will have a tough time replacing someone like Eddie Vanderdoes who tore his ACL last week, but the Bruins did a solid job with Matt Dickerson, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Eli Ankou (who tied for most tackles on the Bruins with 5) as the Bruins only allowed 181 rushing yards.
This group was everywhere and had a lot of players in on the action. With the game well in hand, UCLA was able to cycle in more players which resulted in seven different linebackers recording a tackle.
MORE: UCLA’s Defense Dominates
Defensive Backs: A+
I admit, I criticized this group last week after giving up a lot of yards in the first half against Virginia. After their performance on Saturday against UNLV, I admit I was wrong. The Bruins only allowed 56 yards through the air!
Although UNLV ran almost double the amount plays they passed, the Bruins were able to stop almost every air attack. UCLA only allowed 6 complete passes out of 23. Bravo.
Special Teams: A
Takkarist McKinley had a blocked punt. The team averaged over 30 yards on both kick and punt returns. Matt Mengel averaged just over 43 yards on punts, with a long of 51. Ka’Imi Fairbairn was 3/3 on field goals with a long of 42. The only thing left to say is “BOOM!”